01/03/2009 20:18:21 / other
Here is the direct link:
Voice Of Addiction is a politically charged Chicago based band that has
a powerful message to spread. The band does not shine away from
speaking about the state of affairs around our world. What makes them
even more fantastic is their highly energetic and raw presence. The
band's rock, punk and ska style are a perfect combination for what the
band is all about. I recently spent some time online speaking with
Vocal and Bassist Ian Tomele who was more than willing to share some
insights on the band. Enjoy!
Isaac: Ian, please take a moment to elaborate on who you are and your upbringing.
Ian JohnnyX: I was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio. I had a
big family in a lower middle class situation. In fact, to this day, all
my brothers and sisters remain the closest people to me. I only
attended high school for 2 months. I had to drop out and help out once
my Dad got sick. When I was twenty-one, I moved to Chicago to broaden
my horizons and attend college.
2 years ago; I graduated with Bachelor in the Arts from Columbia double
majoring in Music (instrumental performance) and Audio (live sound engineering).
Isaac: Please take a moment to introduce the members of Voice of Addition and how the band originally was formed.
Ian JohnnyX: We have been a band for over four years, almost five years. Jeff (guitar)
and me have been in several bands together for about 14 years now (Both
27). He moved to Chicago two years before me; we are both originally
from Cleveland Ohio. We recently just got a new drummer, Andy Petty.
Our old drummer had to go the family route and couldn't keep up with
the band. Andy works at a recording studio here in Chicago and used to play in a ska band "Once Again" back in Michigan before he moved here.
Isaac: Was there any one musician that spoke to your heart so profoundly, you were inspired to do your own thing?
Ian JohnnyX: There was lots of influences and people that inspired me
in my formative years, and not just musicians. If I had to pick one
though, it would be Ian Mackaye. With Minor Threat, he showed me the
energy of hardcore punk that dominated me in my teens. And then with
Fugazi, [he] pushed the punk limitations to a growingly stagnant scene
at the time. The biggest influence he had on me though was instilling
the D!i!Y! Ethic into me. From building his own 7 inch sleeves to
running a record label out of his parents basement (still has that
address), he showed that we don't have to pay somebody to do these
things for us that we can do ourselves.
Isaac: I read your bio that you are the politically charged
Chicago based band. How did you come up with the idea that you wanted
to tackle some of the hot current topics through your music?
Ian JohnnyX: To be honest, I didn't really come up with the
idea; it is just the writing that naturally comes out of me. I have
done several writings on politics, community, art and so forth. It is
something that I believe effects us all at the most ground level in
everyday life. And also something that not enough people are talking
about. Yea, I can talk about my love life, my car and my troubles. But,
I think talking about what causes these troubles and keep us in a rut
is more important.
Isaac: What do you think makes your band stand out against the rest of
the bands out there in the music industry? What is the main reason why
should people listen to your music?
Ian JohnnyX: When it comes down to it, we are not really
trying to be a band but rather the catalyst. We stand for what we
believe in and encourage others to do the same. Start your own band!
Zine! Create something that can't be taken away! We are all about
community. And by that I mean people helping people. We start at the
barest grass-roots level; on the stage and in the studio with my two
best friends and me. There is nothing that can't be accomplished when
people work together. And this is well known. Much has been done to
separate people and point out the differences.
Isaac: Out of your entire song collection that you've written thus far,
which song(s) would you say is/are the most personal/meaningful to you?
Ian JohnnyX: There was a song off our first album I wrote about my Dad
of Days." This song means a lot to me although we don't play it
anymore. On more recent stuff, I would say "Grease the Wheel." We put
this song on our first EP and I remember when I wrote it I thought I
had written the best song in the world! In fact, on the last album
"Re-evolution" when tracking we had extra time and decided to redo this
song. It's all about not perpetuating the things that you disagree
Isaac: How far into the creation of a song do you share any of
it with anyone? Who would you play it for? Would it be a chorus, a
verse and chorus, or a complete song?
Ian Johnnyx: My songs and my writing is self-less. I have been
known to pick up a guitar and just make a song on the spot, whether a
couple people are around or a crowd. Also I believe this is important
to see how people react to what you are doing. This is why open mics
have become so popular at a testing field. Sometimes the inspiration
just oozes out of me and a whole song is written in a sitting. Other
times, different parts will come to me over time and the other guys may
hear a part months before the song is ever finished.
Isaac: How much do you let others "mess around with" one of your new
Ian JohnnyX: I am a lucky S.O.B., I get to play music
with two of my best friends, and we try to keep the writing process
very open. So I will come up with a song, but the structure isn't set
by any means. We always try out every idea, "just to see how it feels."
Sometimes complete verses I write are ditched because that's what the
song has become and demands. We try to keep ego and things aside and do
what makes the most sense for the song. After all, the song isn't for
us, it is for us all.
Isaac: Do you have to be a tortured soul to be a singer-songwriter?
Ian JohnnyX: It sure seems to be that way doesn't it. I don't think you
do have to be a tortured soul, but I am not saying it doesn't help.
Traumatic experiences can really ground somebody. Perhaps give them a
new perspective on life. And a lot of people are inspired by different
things. The healthiest way is definitely not to be a tortured soul. But
I must say that I do get a release from playing music that I don't
think could be substituted any other way. It keeps me coming back for
more if you know what I mean. I wouldn't say that I am a tortured soul
though, I may have been through much in my life but in all I am quite
Isaac: The best piece of advice you actually followed?
Ian JohnnyX: "closed mouths don't get fed" If you don't like something, say something; do something about it!
Isaac: When you are performing live in front of an audience, describe the emotions that are pouring through your body.
Ian JohnnyX: Adrenaline! This is first and foremost. I get really
pumped up before, during and after a show. There was a show last
October where I tripped on a snake in the middle of the stage not
expecting it there. So in order not to fall off the stage I jumped over
the divider to save both my bass and my face. I play barefoot in order
to feel the stage while jumping and the floor was cement. So when I
landed I totally broke my one foot. This was in the middle of our
second song. I climbed (barely) back onto the stage and finished the
set all because of my adrenaline. In fact it was almost two hours later
when the pain finally really set in. Why buy drugs when our body
produces drugs that can do this naturally.
Isaac: Give Shutouts to your family and friends.
Ian JohnnyX: Mom and Dad Walschon and Mom and Dad Tomele thanks for mad
support our whole lives and encouraging our music careers since a young
age and putting up with our rehearsals in your garage/basement/etc when
young. Brothers Walschon and all my Tomele siblings. Scott, our
producer. And all our fans and friends all over. They are the reason we
Isaac: Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
Ian JohnnyX: Currently we are getting our new drummer up to speed for
the New year. We will have our first gig with him the end of January
and we are planning an extensive tour throughout the spring, summer,